26 January 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

1300-year-old baby footprints found in excavations at the ancient city of Assos in western Turkey

1300 years ago, a baby stepped on baked bricks prepared to make a bread baking oven. The baby was probably just starting to walk and had only taken two steps when an older one took hold of him.

The footprints of a 1300-year-old baby unearthed during the excavations of the Ancient City of Assos bring this moment to mind.

During the excavations of the Ancient City of Assos, located in the Behramkale Village of the Ayvacık district of Çanakkale, 1650-year-old earthen grills and various types of kitchen utensils were found last month. Uncovering the 1300-year-old baby footprint in the past few days will allow more data to be collected about the city.

A 1300-year-old baby footprint was unearthed in the ancient city of Assos. Photo: AA
A 1300-year-old baby footprint was unearthed in the ancient city of Assos. Photo: AA

Assos excavation head, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Archeology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Nurettin Arslan conveyed the following information to the AA correspondent.

“There are embellishments on the terracotta bricks used on the floor of the hearth. But apart from these decorations, there are traces left by a child, who we estimate to be 1-1,5 years old, by taking 2 steps. Besides that, there is a trace of a dog or a cat.”

“We interpreted the find as the toddler’s stepping on the slightly dried bricks while the bricks were being produced, and then being picked up and lifted.”

“The history of this structure is the 7th century. So, we see the footprints of a baby on a brick from 1300 years ago. If the child had walked on all of them, it would have caused marks or deterioration on the other bricks. Because his first footprint is very deep. Afterward, we see that the traces are more superficial as if they were suddenly removed and they did not continue. We can see from his steps that he is just a toddler. Because the steps between 2 feet are 5 centimeters. We see him walking with very small steps.”

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